Interview with Oolong

We had the chance to talk to Oolong a 18 years old synthwave producer who has just joined the pool of Lazerdiscs Records artists.

Headphones For Robots: Who is Oolong?

Oolong: Oolong is my synthwave project. It’s is a very meaningful name for me, but I’m not sure if Oolong is a character and if I want to create a universe around this character… Maybe in the future, but for the moment I think I will leave a part of mystery around this name.

HFR: How did you start making music? Could you tell us a bit about your influences?

Oo: I start making music when I was 9, approximately. My parents paid me guitar lessons, and I immediately hung! After that, I set myself to the bass, and I played in some rock bands, in the most of the cases stoner or metal bands. When I grew up a bit more, I quickly put myself in electronic music. I mixed, and I still mix a lot of techno, drum n bass and hardcore, but synthwave and darkwave are the only styles in which I really can express myself when I make music. I have a lot of different influences, but if I want to keep three artists, it would be Carpenter Brut, Frank Zappa and Aphex Twin !

HFR: Can you tell us about Interference and your new EP on Lazerdiscs Records?

Oo: Interference is a track that marks a turning point in my Oolong project. In fact, until now I’ve always produced a quite sweet and aerial synthwave. But as I said earlier, I come from a generally hard and cold music. With Interference, I wanted to cross a course and get closer to a kind of synthwave more hard, near from darksynth and artists like Perturbator or Carpenter Brut. Interference will be on my EP. I can’t say more because it is at the very beginning of its creation.

HFR: What is your approach on writing music? Which are the steps you make when songwriting?

Oo: I don’t really know, it’s never the same. Usually, I’m trying to begin a song with a drop, a catchy refrain, and then build the song around it. In reality, my ideas end only after a certain time. I let mature a tons of projects in my computer, I come back from time to time, and sometimes a project more concrete than others leads to a result that I like, and I try to complete it as much as I can until I corrected all the flaws that displease me. I do not really have a magic recipe for a composition, I’m trying to structure and organize my work a little better to have a more regular composition.

HFR: Could you tell us a bit about your “go to” equipment? What do you use when writing a song and which are your favorite instruments?

Oo: I’m using Ableton live and some VSTs like Massive, Serum, Dexed, Operator, Analogue… I recently bought a synthesizer, the Korg Monologue, and I’m quite pleased with it. I think my favorite instrument is my bass, a beautiful Musicman Ray34 ! Not because I record it in my tracks, but because I always have it next to me when I compose, and I often take it and look for themes or melodies when I’m stuck on a part.

HFR: There is a lot of French new talents emerging in the synthwave scene, how do you explain that?

Oo: I’m just 18 years old, so I always knew synthwave as a style where the French have an important place, I can’t really explain that. But electronic music is an important part of French culture. I don’t think this phenomenon only applies to synthwave, there are a lot of French new talents in electronic music in general, because the French youth of this generation (including mine) grew up with that, and future generations will also grow with electronic music. The genre is not going to stop renewing, and I think we’ll soon hear about a new Kavinsky, or new Daft Punk.

HFR: Oolong in a near future? Are there any shows coming up within 2017?

Oo: Yes, I’m currently organizing for a live set at a festival near my home, with a lot of artists I like, like Vitalic or Acid Arab. Apart from that, I think that 2017 is going to be a year that I will dedicate to production, and prepare a solid live set to then propose an exceptional show for years to come!

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